14 April 2019

14th April 1813- first private psychiatric hospital in the United States


The first private, non profit, psychiatric hospital in the United States was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Society of Friends (Quakers) on 14th April 1813, and called The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason. The hospital was opened for the admission of patients on 15th May 1817.

According to the New York Times The Friends did not like the way people could pay to gawk at patients in the public asylum in Philadelphia, and the way some were chained up. With the opening of this hospital the Quakers led the way in more humane treatment in the US.

In 1914 its name was changed to Friends Hospital, and still operates with the original Mission Statement as seen on their website https://friendshospital.com/

"To provide for the suitable accommodation of persons who are or may be deprived of the use of their reason, and the maintenance of an asylum for their reception, which is intended to furnish, besides requisite medical aid, such tender, sympathetic attention as may soothe their agitated minds, and under the Divine Blessing, facilitate their recovery."

Thankyou to today in psychology history for the date.

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